Scientists hope to revive the extinct Tasmanian tiger

Researchers in Australia and the US are embarking on a multi-million dollar project to bring the Tasmanian tiger back from extinction.

Its new project is a partnership with the University of Melbourne, which earlier this year received a $5m philanthropic gift to open a thylacine genetic restoration lab.

The ambitious project will harness advances in genetics, ancient DNA retrieval and artificial reproduction to bring back the animal.

Once the team has successfully programmed a cell, Pask said stem cell and reproductive techniques involving dunnarts as surrogates would "turn that cell back into a living animal."

The last known thylacine spent its days pacing a zoo cage in Hobart, Tasmania, and died of neglect in 1936.

The thylacine, also known as the Tasmanian tiger, is the second undertaking by Colossal

The scientists aim to reverse this by taking stem cells from a living species with similar DNA, the fat-tailed dunnart, and turning them into “thylacine” cells

The idea of bringing back the Tasmanian tiger has been around for more than 20 years. In 1999, the Australian Museum started to pursue a project to clone the animal.

"Our ultimate goal with this technology is to restore these species to the wild, where they played absolutely essential roles in the ecosystem.